Bangkok, Thailand

April 24, 2016

Awesome Humanity or Bust

Recently, I've been trying to reconcile the weird, random-cards nature of being alive.

I have opportunities the woman whose restaurant I visit every day in Bangkok never will, because of sheer random luck. I've written about this big secret before, but of late, it's taken me to thinking about the direction of society, humanity, and what exactly we make of it.

I've come to an inescapable conclusion. It's Awesome Humanity or Bust, and I'm all in.

You know those folks who are prepared for the next zombie apocalypse, the collapse of civilization as we know it, and who spend time getting ready to survive in a world gone completely mad?

I'm not one of them. And I never will be.

Stuff like that takes time and energy, and to be frank, if we can't create an amazing world where everyone, regardless of where or who they were born has the opportunity to have a wonderful life, then fuck it.

Experienced poker players will tell you there comes a time in every tournament when you have to look at the chips you have, the hand you have, and make a call: all-in.

Today, I'm putting it out loud. I'm all in.

I wanted to be able to paint a picture of what I was all-in on, so this week, I sat down and wrote out a full manifesto - what a fantastic future worth fighting for looked like.

A world with actual equal opportunities, basic needs met for every human being, a sustainable footprint, and more. But when I went to research some numbers for my manifesto, I discovered something even better -

We already have one.

They're called the Sustainable Development Goals, and despite the committee-sounding name, they are the most bad-ass thing we've come up with as a species.

I'm renaming them, so you'll actually click on them. Check out the Official Bad-Ass Goals of the Human Race by 2030. Seriously, click on over right now. I'll wait. They'll inspire the hell out of you.

I think of myself as a bit of a development and humanity geek, but I had no idea the SDGs even existed. It turns out they're the descendants of the Millennium Development Goals, which did more good than almost anything else we've collectively undertaken.

But even better, the SDGs aren't just a manifesto. They're actions. Each goal has clear targets, with ways we can measure to make sure we hit them. In a huge, globe-spanning way, they're using the same techniques I use with my coaching clients and in the Change Monsters. Make small, consistent efforts, and measure progress.

Maybe frameworks from international governing bodies aren't your thing. I get it - on the surface, it does sound not quite as exciting as watching paint dry.

But steal some of my excitement, even for a minute.

Right now, at this very moment, not in idea or theory some far-off wish, we are actually making the world better for every human being.

Your country is part of it. Every country where I live is part of it. All of us - no matter where we're from on this planet - are doing it. Together.

Have an amazing week, and when you step out the door, take a look around. Those people? They're changing the world with you.

-Steven

p.s. The best thing I saw all week was obviously the SDGs. But the second best thing I saw all week was this video that starts off trying to explain a funny thing about language and the brain - and ends up making its way about memory, life, and meaning in a beautifully poignant way. It's the Zipf Mystery.

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